Main page content begins here

With an increasing population of dogs in cities, there is growing demand for municipalities to accommodate residents and their dogs in public places, and provide sustainable and safe off leash opportunities.

Currently there are over forty (40) Dogs Off-Leash sites within the City of Edmonton. The City's initial dog off leash guidelines were created in the 1990’s, and over the years, most dog off leash areas have been created as a result of requests from community groups or citizens.

The “Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy” proposes a number of recommendations to help shape and update the City of Edmonton’s current planning, design and management practices regarding dog off leash areas. Public consultation will occur with changes to current parks or the planning of future parks.

Upon approval of the Strategy, the off leash project team began to develop the Dogs in Open Spaces 10 Year Implementation Plan.

Project Timeline

Timeframe Project Activity

The Dogs Off Leash Program team is creating a budget request for City Council’s consideration as part of the 2019-2022 Capital Budget Cycle. This budget would be to fund the actions outlined in the Dogs in Open Spaces 10 Year Implementation Plan.

The Lauderdale Pilot Project continues to move forward to enhance the Lauderdale off-leash area with recommendations from the Strategy.


Based off recommendations in the Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy, the City created an Implementation Plan which was approved by Council in September 2017.

The Lauderdale Pilot Project continues to move forward to enhance the Lauderdale off-leash area with recommendations from the Strategy.

2016 In Spring 2016, the City began working on a pilot program focused on Lauderdale (Grand Trunk) Off Leash Area.

The pilot has made progress by:

  • Evaluating existing off leash site using the new guidelines provided with the Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy
  • Compiling research from past public consultation results and park plans
  • Identifying recommended enhancements based on the feedback from the public
  • Identifying operational and financial impacts of recommended enhancements
  • Researching funding strategies for enhancing existing off leash areas
  • Identifying potential financial impacts of enhancing the off leash area
March 2016 Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy was approved by the Community Services Committee on March 21.
June 2015 Public Consultation phase two completed - June 24 and 25.
May 2015 Public Consultation phase one completed - May 13 and 14.
Winter 2015 Background review of current practices completed.

Project Overview

The “Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy” identifies a number of recommendations and best practices that will be used to update the City of Edmonton’s current dog off leash guidelines and programs. Public engagement and consultation with City of Edmonton staff and other stakeholders played a prominent role in shaping the direction of this strategy.

Strategy Recommendations

  • Planning recommendations have been suggested including access and parking, site uses, types of off leash areas and funding
  • Design recommendations to consider include boundaries, amenities, environmental protection, winter considerations, waste management, vegetation and public health and safety
  • Management recommendations include best practices for general maintenance, education and communications, community stewardship, enforcement and monitoring
  • The City of Edmonton will consider those recommendations from the “Dogs in Open Spaces Strategy” when planning, designing and managing current and future off leash sites

Goals of the Implementation Plan

  • Smart planning, design and management of off leash areas that take into account user experience, safety, and environmental sensitivities
  • Better adoption of rules and bylaws by users through education and enforcement
  • Increased safety for people and dogs in off leash and adjacent areas
  • Establishing new off-leash areas in Edmonton where the need is identified
  • Creating processes for establishing and decommissioning off leash areas
  • Increasing educational opportunities in off leash areas, as well as enhancing the volunteer stewardship program that currently exists
  • Establishing a base level of amenities for off leash areas, and develop a cost sharing model for community groups interested in enhancing off leash areas with additional amenities

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content